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Optometry and Vision Science Research Guide: Databases, scholarly research and literature

Research resources and information for vision science.

Database Help Series

Learn how to search a database effectively, as well as import and export results to a reference manager. You can also schedule a virtual demo  of a database with the Librarian. 

Web of Science

Need More Help? Connect with me

For help with customized literature searches, using boolean logic, formatting research posters and media, critical appraisal and reading scientific literature, and lots more, connect with me online. E-mail me or Book a virtual meeting with me on Microsoft Teams.

Brie McConnell, MLIS

Liaison Librarian

What is a research database?

A database is a collection of digital material that have been catalogued and professionally curated to a set of standards and peer-review. Note that Google Scholar for example, is NOT a research database; it is actually a web search engine.

Three common types of research databases, are

  • bibliographic databases, such as the library catalogue;
  • abstract databases (or citation indexes), such as Scopus or Web of Science;
  • and full-text databases, like Medline or Embase. 

The most common digital items in databases are journal articles, however databases can also be dedicated to theses, patents, and more. Databases are powerful research tools for accessing indexed journal articles and publications from scholars, professionals, and field experts. Choosing the correct database for your search is important, as a database can cover a wide variety of topics from psychology, education, clinical medicine, and more.

Contact lens databases

Popular research databases with ophthalmic coverage

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